The News 8/25

New school year, new football season, new news. Let’s talk about the latest and greatest in upcoming events and openings in the ole GNV. As usual, please like, share, comment, send hatemail, and make sure you follow me on Instagram for even more goodies. As for right now, let’s do the frickin’ news...there’s a whole lot of it.

-Gainesville House of Beer will be celebrating their 5th anniversary next Thursday, September 1st. They will be celebrating by offering $4 drafts on all beers, and holding the official launch party for their own line of beers under the HOB Brewing name. A Mango Hefeweizen, Cucumber IPA, and Peanut Butter Blonde will be available along with some special one-off beers just for the party.

-V Pizza and Sidecar will be opening its doors on Monday, August 29th located in the former Vello’s building downtown. Wood fired pizzas at V Pizza and craft cocktails at Sidecar from some of the best in Jacksonville.

-Speaking of anniversaries, The Dime bar will be celebrating their 2nd anniversary this coming Sunday, August 28th through Monday, August 29th. There will be drink specials, free food, and a raffle to benefit the victims of the recent Louisiana floods. Raffle tickets will be $5 a piece or $20 for 5, prizes include a free bar tab, gift certificates to Pop-A-Top and The Top, free booze, and a super schweet Fernet Branca beach cruiser bike.

-First Magnitude Brewery Company will be hosting a Brewery Spelling Bee this coming Tuesday, August 30th and it’s exactly what you think it is. Get drunk, try to spell words, and with each round participants pass through, they get a free beer. More info can be found on their event page:

-Backstreet Blues Chophouse is tentatively set to open the 2nd week of September. The restaurant opening in the former Beef O’Brady’s at 6500 SW Archer Road will offer high end steaks, oysters, and more.I recently had a chance to sneak a peek inside at the progress, and it’s shaping up to be a really beautiful space that will provide a much needed additional higher-end dining option for those of us who live on the west side of town.

-The return of Gator football means the return of Swamp Head Brewery’s Football Fridays. The first will be September 2nd. DJs, food trucks, and multiple pouring stations will be available. The brewery will be open starting at 1 PM and serving up beers until 11 PM. Patrons will have the opportunity to purchase a “Forever Pint” for $10, which is a stainless steel pint that can be used for refills at any Swamp Head event where plastic cups are being used. We’re going to destroy UMass, so there will be plenty of celebratory drinking opportunities.

-Northwest Seafood on 16th Street (in the same plaza as Dorn’s and Uppercrust) is expanding. They will be taking over the adjacent vacant space and begin offering cooked meals like they do at their Tioga location. Some of you have asked where to get the best seafood in town, Northwest has been the standard for a long long time.

-Pop A Top’s General Store at the spankin’ new (and very pretty) Depot Park on South Main Street is open. Their hours are 8 AM to 8 PM Tuesday through Sunday. Tasty snacks are available from the kitchen folk at The Top and delicious beverages. Definitely pop in if you’re out checking out the new park.

-Those of you who follow me on Instagram know I gave a shoutout to One Tough Cookie recently. They sell some ridiculously good gigantic cookies (a la Levain Bakery) and their proceeds go towards pediatric cancer research at UF Health. They will be teaming with another awesome local food maker in Mayflower Cellars, who make some seriously killer sausages and charcuterie, at an event at Swamp Head Brewery dubbed “Sausage & Suds” on Sept. 22nd from 5 PM to 9 PM. Both vendors will also be at the Union Street Downtown Farmers’ Market the day before.

-Finally, Northwestern Mutual and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation are joining forces to fight childhood cancer. Thursday, September 8th at the Florida Museum of Natural History will host their first annual “Lemon” Ball. Free food, refreshments, entertainment, and a silent auction will be held. For more information, contact

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© 2020 by Ken Peng & Ken Eats, LLC. Title image courtesy of Jesse Adrian Scanlon Media.

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